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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Baked rice pudding

I photographed this prior to cooking. It was requested by my son when he came down to lunch over the weekend, it was something he had recently discovered his girlfriend was very fond of. Of course, his first though was ‘arrange lunch with Mum and have her cook rice pudding’. It is nice to be thought of….

Baked rice pudding

2 cups (500ml) milk
300ml thin cream
1/2 cup (110g) medium grain (calrose) rice, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped (I didn’t have a bean handy so added 1 tsp of extract after simmering)
Pinch of ground nutmeg, plus extra to sprinkle
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Combine milk, cream, rice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds and nutmeg in a medium saucepan.
Cook over meduim heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until it reaches a simmer.
Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
Add egg yolks and stir to combine.
Pour rice mixture into a 4 cup (1 litre) capacity ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle with extra nutmeg.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and custard is set.
Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

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Vanilla Slice

I am not a huge fan of Vanilla Slice from the bakery, not because it isn’t nice, indeed it is very nice. It is also difficult to eat, that is what makes me choose something else every time. I have never met a vanilla slice that is easy to eat, it always squishes its custard filling out all over the place making you look like you have been eating by yourself for about 9 minutes…unsuccessfully. This one is no exception, its saving grace was that I could eat it at home and not worry about the impression I was making on those around me. I was happy that it tasted as good as its bakery counterparts although I would use less icing in future, I will make it again as long as I can eat it quietly at home without others.

I let mine sit for a good 24 hours prior to consuming. I thought this might make the pastry a little easier to deal with but not really…

Enjoy!

Vanilla Slice

2 sheets puff pastry
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
1½ cups cream
2-2½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Icing
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hot water

Place puff pastry on lined oven tray. Prick with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes at 220°C.
Put sugar, custard powder and cream into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it starts to thicken.
Add milk ½ a cup at a time and whisk continuously until the custard is thick.
Let everything cool slightly.
Place in a 22 cm square tin, pastry, custard, pastry then icing.
Icing: Place icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl and add enough hot water to make
thin to medium textured icing.

Recipe notes
Best after 12-24 hours in the refrigerator but can be eaten in as little as 3 hours.


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Coffee Parfait

Creamy and deeply coffee flavoured, this dessert was just what the doctor ordered. A heavy jolt of caffeine disguised as a fancy dessert. Of course you could dress this up with extra cream, crumbled meringue, grated chocolate or strawberries but it was made for an informal occasion just because I felt like making a dessert so we ate it just as it was. I could have eaten a bucket load of this, of course this would have been very bad for me so thankfully my sister came for lunch so I was able (read: forced) to share.

Coffee Parfait

2 tablespoons freeze dried coffee granules
2 tablespoons Raw Sugar
1 tablespoon Boiling water
1 tablespoon Brandy (I used a good whiskey)
300 ml Prepared vanilla custard
300 ml cream
6 maraschino cherries (I hate these things, but feel free if you are a fan)

Dissolve coffee and raw sugar in the boiling water.
Combine coffee mixture, brandy and custard in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff. Lightly stir cream into coffee / custard mixture.
Divide mixture between 6 Parfait glasses and refrigerate until required.
Decorate with maraschino cherries.


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Peppermint Crisp Ice-Cream Slice

So, I have no real excuse, I just really wanted to try it.
The kids are not here and the husband is also away, I am not even really an ice cream fan but still, I have so wanted to try this since the Crunchie Ice Cream Slice that I felt I had to make it regardless. I will cut it into serving sizes and individually wrap each piece so that it can be consumed by a more appreciative audience when they are all back home.

Meanwhile I have tried it and found that the Peppermint Crisp was a rather nice alternative to the honeycomb flavour of the Crunchie. It would be a nice touch if you could find a rectangular chocolate biscuit to sandwich the ice cream in but all I had on hand was my malt biscuits (and I don’t think chocolate biscuits come in rectangles here, possible exception being Tim Tam’s but that would be a bit too much of a good thing I think.)
Anyway, same recipe, different chocolate bar. I am going to have to try others now but all of the other flavour chocolate bars that I can think might be nice are going to be difficult to shatter. I’ll make a plan when the time comes. Until then, give this a go and Enjoy!

Peppermint Crisp Ice-Cream Slice

600 mls thickened cream
395 gms condensed milk
3 x 50 gms Peppermint Crisp chocolate bar crushed
2 x 250 gms malt biscuits

Line a tray with 1 packet of biscuits.
Whip cream. Fold condensed milk into cream.
Fold crushed Peppermint Crisp into cream mixture.
Spoon mixture evenly over biscuit base.
Line mixture with remaining packet of biscuits.
Place in freezer overnight or until set.
Cut as desired and serve.


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Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

Lunch/Dinner today was amazing. I write it like that because I ate it like that. We had a pork roast flavoured with thyme, onion powder and garlic salt, great combination. With rice and roast potatoes, broccoli and gravy (I am not an apple sauce fan) for lunch around midday and then had dessert around 6pm for dinner because we were all so stuffed with lunch there was no room for dessert at the time.

I don’t often make desserts these days but this was one of those ones that just begged to be made. Every time we stop somewhere for coffee my husband orders a mocha so when I came across this recipe in my database I just had to try it out right away. Heaven knows how long I have had this recipe but once it saw the light of day it played on my mind until I made it. It was delicious. I ate an enormous piece and will go back for more in the ensuing days. It is richly coffee flavoured with enough chocolate to give it a mocha bent but not to overpower the coffee. Mmm fabulous!

Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

1 Tbs instant coffee granules
1 Tbs hot water
200 gm chocolate ripple biscuits
125 gm butter melted
200 gm milk chocolate coarsely chopped (gives you a couple of pieces from the block to gobble)
2 x 250 gm cream cheese brought to room temperature
395 gm condensed milk
250 ml thickened cream

Release base from 22 cm pan and line base and sides with foil.
Combine the coffee and hot water and set aside to cool.
Crush the biscuits into a fine crumb, blend in the butter and then transfer to the pan.
Use the back of a spoon to spread and press firmly into base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave on a low heat until the chocolate melts and is smooth, then set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
Place the cream cheese, condensed milk and 250 mL of cream into a bowl and process until mixture is smooth.
Add the chocolate and coffee mixture to the cream cheese mixture and process until well combined. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface.
Place in freezer for 8 hours or until firm.
Remove cheesecake from freezer and cut immediately (if you live in Australia and everything melts in seconds flat) or leave out to soften slightly to make cutting easier.
Serve with extra whipped cream and grated chocolate if desired or just indulge in more than you really should then hide the rest back in the freezer and try (unsuccessfully) to forget about it (I swear it is calling my name!).

Enjoy!


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Ice-cream Bars

I have a house full of kids again. Kids means sugar! I had to make the kids something good and sugary, summery and easy so I went online and went searching for something frozen that I could whip up quickly and have on hand.

Ice-cream slice! I even indulged in a couple of pieces myself, just as a quality control officer you understand. This was so easy that the kids helped me out without making me tear out my hair in frustration. It was a great project for all of us.

I am thinking that a variation that I would like to try at a later date would be peppermint crisp but crunchie was a fabulous starting point. A community service warning though, these are sweet sweet sweet. I think if I were to make a batch to suit my own tastes then I would cut the condensed milk in half, but the kids love them and I should really stay away from them entirely so no sense messing with them really.

Ice-cream Bars

600 mls thickened cream
395 gms condensed milk
3 x 50 gms chocolate bar of choice, crushed (I used Crunchie, a honeycomb style chocolate bar)
2 x 250 gms rectangular biscuits (I used malt flavoured ones)

Line a tray with 1 packet of biscuits. Whip cream.
Fold condensed milk into cream.
Fold crushed Crunchies into cream mixture.
Spoon mixture evenly over biscuit base.
Line mixture with remaining packet of biscuits.
Place in freezer overnight or until set.
Cut as desired and serve.


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Bread Bun Chicken Pies

Here is a mushroom heavy work of art. Okay it may not be art (that is subjective) but it’s amazing all the same, cute presentation and fun to eat if you like that kind of thing. I do like that kind of thing, because I don’t do it every day so it’s good to get up close and personal with my food once in a while.

You could substitute any powdered soup mix you like or leave it out entirely and just add some powdered stock for flavour. I had a packet of cream of mushroom left over in the cupboard so that is what I used.

We used the bread excavated from the rolls to dip and soak up the mushroom gravy in the rolls and then enjoyed eating the crunchy roll itself with the inside soaked in gravy and tasty chicken pieces. This was a great meal with only a small amount of preparation and it ended up both tasting and looking really good.

Bread Bun Chicken Pies
Serves 4

4 medium, round bread rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
100g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
350g chicken thigh fillets, finely diced
45g packet cream of chicken soup mix
300mls light thickened cream
½ cup milk
½ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped – optional

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Slice the top off the bread rolls. Set aside.
Using a teaspoon or fingers, gently remove bread from the inside of the rolls, leaving a 2cm thick crust on base and sides.
Brush inside of rolls and underside of tops with 1 tablespoon of oil.
Place on prepared baking tray. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp.
Heat remaining oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat.
Add onion and button mushrooms cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.
Add chicken. Stir until well combined.
Cook for 4 minutes or until just cooked.
Sprinkle packet of soup mix over chicken and stir until well combined. Remove pan from heat.
Slowly add cream and milk, stirring constantly.
Return to heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Stir through parsley if using.
Spoon chicken mixture into prepared bread rolls.
Bake for 5 minutes or until heated through.
Serve.